Disappointments are not Dead Ends

Do you not know? Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.  He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. – Isaiah 40:28-29

Perhaps you’ve given up. Your hopes have been crushed. You’re tired of trying, weary with effort, wondering whether it’s worth pressing on, feeling dejected, limping along.  Maybe not on the surface, but in your heart.

There’s probably a good reason too – persistent pain, gut-wrenching grief, a sense of betrayal, unrealistic expectations, money matters, the loss of a loved one, feelings of uselessness, a terminal illness, or any one of the countless setbacks we encounter in life. Whatever it is it’s too much to endure. In fact it may be so bad you’ve even thought the unthinkable – about riding off into the sunset, writing the final chapter, calling it quits. After all, you’ve argued, what’s the point. Nothing seems to help and no one seems to care. The bottom line is you’re too tired, too sick, or too dejected to press on. In short ­you feel you’re at the end of the road.

Life can be like that. Hard. Unyielding. A Gordian knot. But we need to be reminded that there are no hopeless situations, serious, even tough, but never hopeless. There are only people who have become hopeless about their situation. People who have stopped believing that depression can be defeated, that anxiety can be attacked, and that concerns can be conquered.

So keep trying. Be patient. Don’t give up. Change your perspective. For opportunity often knocks twice. There is no insurmountable barrier until you stop trying.

Disappointments are not dead ends. There is always something around the corner. And even though you may be discouraged, remember God never gets discouraged. For man’s extremity is God’s opportunity. Your defeat can become God’s victory. “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary . . . He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak” Isaiah 40:28-29.

Yes, setbacks are stepping stones to success. If you’re not offended by learning a lesson from an animal, you may be interested in hearing about the mule who fell into an old dry well. The efforts to rescue him were fruitless. Finally, the owner of the mule, assuming the mule was injured and dying from the fall, decided it would be more merciful to kill him. Unable to think of a better way of dispatching him he had a truckload of dirt thrown into the well. However, as the dirt was thrown in, instead of allowing himself to be buried alive, the mule quickly shook off the dirt, pressed it down with his hooves, and raised himself above his original position. This continued until the mule, as complacently as if nothing strange had happened, was finally able to step out onto firm, safe ground.

That’s an excellent illustration. A reminder of how a setback can become the thing that brings you out on top. That an experience is not a failure if it prods us to keep on trying, and that the hard places of life, although painful, will later produce “a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” Hebrews 12:11.

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